Canada beats Slovakia with late rally at world hockey championship

Slovakia and Canada players fight during their world hockey championship game at Chizhovka Arena in...

Slovakia and Canada players fight during their world hockey championship game at Chizhovka Arena in Minsk, Belarus, May 10, 2014. (VASILY FEDOSENKO/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:55 PM ET

After a stunning loss to France in the tournament opener Friday, Canadian hockey fans across the country were likely holding their breath for much of Saturday’s game against Slovakia for fear of another upset at the world hockey championship.

Deadlocked through two periods at Chizhovka Arena in Minsk, Belarus, Canada mercifully broke the game wide open with a third-period rally en route to a 4-1 victory.

Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals was the star for Canada, potting a pair of goals, including one to tie the game 1-1 late in the second period. Ward said he is relishing his first opportunity to play for his country.

“First I got the call, I said that this was my Olympics,” Ward told IIHF.com. “I grew up watching international hockey and I’m very happy to put a Canadian jersey on and be a part of it. I’m trying to make the most of it, just trying to have fun and not get too nervous.”

Buffalo Sabres forward Cody Hodgson scored the winner at 7:07 of the final frame to begin the late flurry of goals. Vancouver Canuck Kevin Bieksa scored the other goal for Canada.

Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens made 24 stops in the win.

Canada next faces the Czech Republic on Monday.


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